If Oklahoma taught me anything, it was how to be friendly. As it turns out, being friendly is super important when it comes to meeting new people and making new friends in a town 1200 miles away from home.
We are in LA now. That’s not Louisiana either if you were wondering. No, we moved across the country from the middle of nowhere Oklahoma to Los Angeles county. Talk about a culture shock. We are falling in love with this new life, but there have definitely been a few moments that have made me say, “Yeah, I’m not in Oklahoma anymore.”
Example: Apparently, no one drinks Coke here, and I don’t just mean Coca-Cola either. You Midwesterners know what I mean. Coke can be anything. Right?
Person 1: Want a coke?
Person 2: Yeah, what do you have?
Person 1: Dr. Pepper, Diet Coke and Sprite.
Person 2: I’ll take a Dr. Pepper.
But don’t worry! That conversation will never happen here, BECAUSE SO FAR NO ONE THAT I HAVE MET DRINKS COKE OF ANY KIND! It’s fine. It will all be fine. P.S. Don’t email me with your, “It’s full of chemicals and sugar and you don’t need to drink it anyway,” messages. I don’t have time for that kind of negativity in my life. And that’s not what this post is about anyway.
No, today I need to tell you how I walked down the street, knocked on a stranger’s door, and asked if our kids could be friends. All of my Oklahoma friends are like, “Yup. Totally normal. Sounds like something we’d do!”
So, here’s what happened. I’ve got three kids. My oldest goes to traditional school. My middle child is homeschooled. And my youngest will start pre-school after Christmas break. Back home, they all had little best friends they played with daily. They had an entire community who knew who they were, where they lived, and everything about their parents. This is what happens when you grow up in a small town.
When we moved, creating community and finding friends for my kids ranked pretty high on my list of to-do’s.
- Find my tooth brush ____X____.
- Unpack my dishes ____X_____.
- Help my kids make friends _________.
You get the idea. I knew it would be easier for my oldest and youngest, both going to traditional school. But, I was concerned for my daughter who is homeschooled. Listen, on the day she moved into this house she said, “What day do I make my friends?” And I was like, “This is so much pressure!”
So, I started to pray hard about it. I asked my friends to pray with me. I asked my family to pray with me. I said, “I need a miracle. I need a friend for Kadence.” I actually said those words out loud to others and to Jesus.
And so we all prayed.
And then here’s what happened. Two days ago, my daughter was playing in her upstairs bedroom with her window open. (This goes on the list of things I love about LA so far. It is opposite of the list that includes things like wildfires less than a mile away. But I digress.) Anyway, she was playing in her room when all of a sudden, she heard kids playing outside. I walked into her room to find her with her little arms resting on the window ledge and her chin resting on top. She was looking down at two little girls just about her size playing in the next yard over.
I encouraged her to say hello, but she was feeling a little too nervous. So, I jumped over to the window and shouted, “Hi! How old are you girls!?” Then, I realized how creepy it was to be yelling down to kids in their backyard, and so I decided I would just march over and introduce myself to the parents.
And that’s exactly what I did. Their backyard meets our side yard since we live on a cul-de-sac, so I had to go around the block and down the street. I rang the doorbell, and as I stood on the front porch waiting, I suddenly realized that I didn’t really have a plan.
What was I going to say? How was I going to convince these people I wasn’t crazy? I didn’t have a chance to work it all out before a man answered the door… and the first thing out of my mouth was, I’m not crazy! And then I asked if he lived there…
I’m sure he was thinking, “You rang my doorbell, lady. Yes. I live here.”
But, friend! Guess what happened! It all worked out. I met the mom, and after a short explanation, I found out that one of the other neighbors homeschools their little girl as well! Kadence and I were invited to meet up with a group of homeschool girls just her age to play at the park the next day!
And we went! AND KADENCE MADE A FRIEND. And we are going to go back next time! And God answered our prayer!
Do you know what it took though? It took about five minutes of bravery. Everything I had been praying for was on the other side of five brave minutes.
Sometimes, that’s the way God answers our prayers. You know? Sometimes, we’d like Him to deliver the answers to our front door. But sometimes, exactly what we have been asking Him for is on the other side of five minutes of faith and courage.
Look, I don’t know what you need in your life in this moment. I don’t know what brave looks like in your situation. But I know that the Lord lets us borrow His courage. He gives us His strength when we don’t have our own. And when we are just sure that we can’t do it, that it’s too crazy, or too hard, or too awkward, He shows up and walks with us to the other side of it.
For us, the recipe for our miracle was some Oklahoma friendliness, some supernatural faith, and a good Father who uses all of it.
And that? Well, that’s some decent Hope for a Saturday.
And like I always say, Hope is best when shared.
DID YOU EVER HEAR WHY WE MOVED TO LA? YOU CAN READ THE FULL STORY HERE.